Rohingya refugee numbers swell in southeast Bangladesh

Rickety camps in southeast Bangladesh are overcrowded with Rohingya refugees. (AN photo)
Updated 08 September 2017

Rohingya refugee numbers swell in southeast Bangladesh

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Southeast Bangladesh is flooded with Rohingya refugees, their numbers increasing daily as they flee a brutal military crackdown in neighboring Myanmar.
They are exposed to the elements day and night, facing gusty winds and heavy rainfall during the current monsoon season.
Those who arrived at the end of August were able to find space in refugee camps to build makeshift tents, typically 10 feet by 15 feet for 10 people on average.
But with overcrowding, thousands are now unable to find or make shelter, and tents are filled with as many as 20 people.
“We were already a family of eight in one tent until my cousin Mohsin arrived with nine relatives,” 42-year-old Ahsan Ullah told Arab News.
With this huge influx of refugees, the local population is feeling the burden. “We’re worried how we can manage this large number of refugees,” Zahangir Kabir Chowdhury, a local official in the Ukhia Thana area, told Arab News.
“The price of rice has risen by 10 taka ($0.12) per kilogram in this locality. The refugees are dominating the local labor market, and the law and order situation is worsening every day,” he said, adding that these concerns have been conveyed to the authorities.
Senoara Begum, another local official in Ukhia Thana, told Arab News: “We’re in big trouble. Our life and property are in danger as some of these refugees are joining criminals involved in smuggling and other unlawful activities.”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday visited Kutupalang refugee camp in Ukhia Thana.
Erdogan lauded the Bangladeshi government’s handling of the refugee crisis, and said Turkey will do all it can to help.


Jersey City attack being investigated as domestic terrorism

Updated 13 December 2019

Jersey City attack being investigated as domestic terrorism

  • Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the attack was driven by hatred of Jews and law enforcement and is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism
  • The attackers killed three people in the store, in addition to a police officer at a cemetery about a mile away, before dying in an hourslong gunbattle with police

JERSEY CITY: The couple who burst into a kosher market in Jersey City with assault weapons appear to have acted alone even though they had expressed interest in a fringe religious group that often disparages whites and Jews, New Jersey officials said.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the attack was driven by hatred of Jews and law enforcement and is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.
The two killers were armed with a variety of weapons, including an AR-15-style rifle and a shotgun that they were wielding when they stormed into the store in an attack that left the scene littered with several hundred shell casings, broken glass and a community in mourning. A pipebomb was also found in a stolen U-Haul van.
“The outcome would have been far, far worse” if not for the Jersey City Police, Grewal said Thursday. Authorities noted that a Jewish school is next to the market, and a Catholic school is across the street.
The attackers killed three people in the store, in addition to a police officer at a cemetery about a mile away, before dying in an hourslong gunbattle with police Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
“The evidence points toward acts of hate. I can confirm that we’re investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs,” the attorney general said. He said social media posts, witness interviews and other evidence reflected the couple’s hatred of Jews and police.
Grewal noted that after killing three people in the store, the couple concentrated their fire on police and did not shoot at others who happened to be on the streets.
Grewal said the attackers, David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, had expressed interest in a fringe religious group called the Black Hebrew Israelites, whose members often rail against Jews and whites. But he said there was no evidence so far that they were members, and added that the two were believed to have acted alone.
The pair brought their cache of weapons in a U-Haul van they drove from Bay View Cemetery, where they shot and killed Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals, according to the attorney general.
Anderson fired away with the AR-15-style rifle as he entered the store, while Graham brought a 12-gauge shotgun into the shop. They also had handguns with a homemade silencer and a device to catch shell casings. In all, they had five guns — four recovered in the store, one in the van — in what Grewal called a “tremendous amount of firepower.”
Serial numbers from two of the weapons showed that Graham purchased them in Ohio in 2018, the attorney general said.
The victims killed in the store were: Mindel Ferencz, 31, who with her husband owned the grocery; 24-year-old Moshe Deutsch, a rabbinical student from Brooklyn who was shopping there; and store employee Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49. A fourth person in the store was shot and wounded but managed to escape, authorities said.
Members of New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community gathered Wednesday night for funerals for Ferencz and Deutsch. Thousands of people, mostly men, followed Ferencz’s casket through the streets of Brooklyn, hugging and crying.
The bloodshed in the city of 270,000 people across the Hudson River from New York City spread fear through the Jewish community and weighed heavily on the minds of more than 300 people who attended a vigil Wednesday night at a synagogue about a mile from where the shootings took place.
In the deadliest attack on Jews in US history, 11 people were killed in an October 2018 shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Last April, a gunman opened fire at a synagogue near San Diego, killing a woman and wounding a rabbi and two others.